Do you have a go-to recipe that you've been making for years, one that you throw together whenever you need a simple party dish that you know that your guests will love? This black bean, corn and mango salad, adapted from a recipe in Cooking Light about a decade ago, is mine. I've made it for countless picnics, BBQs and house parties and passed on the recipe to many friends, who have made it their own as well. Whenever mangoes start coming into season, I eagerly anticipate occasions to make this salad, which is simple, tasty, beautifully colorful and always appreciated by everyone.
The original recipe calls for canned black beans, which are really difficult to find at a reasonable price here in Paris (I refuse to pay 5-6 euros for a can of beans!). I do have a couple of sources though (which I will consider revealing to fellow black bean-loving Parisians if you send me an email), and I will use canned black beans if they happen to be in stock at these spots. Otherwise, I use red beans or cook dried black beans if time and advance planning allow (they rarely do!).
This salad is great on its own or as a salsa to be scooped up with tortilla chips. I've also used it on tacos or in burritos or even in omelets. Friends also report that it makes a great accompaniment to grilled fish or chicken. The possibilities are endless, as are the potential ingredient substitutions. Use red or any other beans that you fancy in place of the black ones. Switch mango with chunks of pineapple, peaches or nectarines, if that's what you find at the market. Any color of bell pepper can stand in for the red ones. I prefer roasted bell peppers for the rich color and sweet taste, but raw ones are just fine too.
If you make this salad, it might just become a part of your regular party rotation as well. Enjoy!
BLACK BEAN, CORN & MANGO SALAD
Adapted from Cooking Light
Nonstick cooking spray or 1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
3 cups corn kernels (fresh, canned or frozen)
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 roasted or fresh red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red onion, minced
1 large, ripe mango, chopped
Juice of one lime
3 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1 green chili, chopped OR 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1. Spray a large nonstick pan with cooking spray or heat the oil in the pan. Add the corn (undrained if from a can) and stir well. Pan-roast until the corn begins to blacken in spots, about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure that it doesn't stick. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
2. While the corn is cooking, mix the beans, bell pepper, onion and mango in a large salad bowl.
3. Once the corn has cooled down to room temperature, add it to the bowl.
4. Add the lime juice, cilantro, salt, cumin and chili and mix well. Adjust seasonings to taste.